Pyrenees cycle tours
Located in southwestern France stretching the entire northern border of Spain, is a range of mythical mountains known as the Pyrenees. Home to a strong mountain culture and slow rural roads, the Pyrenees are a famous mecca for cyclists the world over. Our favorite time to experience these mythic mountains is outside the bustle of the Tour de France.
Our unforgettable Pyrenees cycle tours start in Bagneres-du-Luchon, a thermal spa village in the heart of the central Pyrenees. It’s also the junction for several famous Tour de France climbs including the Peyresourde, Portillon, Col de Mente, Portet d’Aspet and the Port de Bales. Basing ourselves in each lush river valley, we’ll move west where the trip culminates in riding the highest pass in the Pyrenees, the Col du Tourmalet at 2115 meters. Enjoy the ride and the daily challenges!
- 6 days cycling in the Pyrenees
- 29,500 feet+ vertical climbing
- 9+ mountain passes (Hors Category and Category 1 climbs!)
- 300 miles+ (average of 45 miles/day)
- The successive line-up of amazing Tour de France climbs: Col de Mente, Port de Bales, Col de Peyresourde, Col d’Aspin, Col du Tourmalet, Col du Solour, the beautiful Col d’Aubisque and more!
This Pyrenees cycle tours are designed with an obsessive attention to route detail. With our knowledgeable local guides, we’ll ride roughly 40 – 65 miles each day, over 1-3 mountain passes through several hidden mountain hamlets and spectacular gorges. This is a guided, fully-supported (SAG) and well-designed trip. To fully enjoy this tour you should be an avid cyclist capable of riding the daily distances over hilly terrain. For those of you on a multisport program, there are many options for running, hiking or riding shorter/longer distances. Our days are designed to have you back at our hotels by early afternoon, in time to recover, relax and explore the villages.
The Accommodations and Food
You’ll be treated to special nights on our Pyrenees cycle tours. In our one-of-a-kind hotels and mountain chalets that have been carefully selected for their location, comfort and authentic local charm. Our restaurant selection is equally as important, designed to introduce our guests to some of the delicious local foods of the region and, of course, fuel our rides. You won’t go hungry on our Pyrenees cycle tours.
Our Pyrenees cycle tours – The Legendary Climbs Includes:
- Toulouse airport pick-up and drop off at the scheduled time;
- Guiding services of one or more of our smiling domestiques (i.e. guides) equipped with cell phone;
- 7 nights accommodation in our special hotels, charming country inns and mountain lodges;
- Hearty cyclists breakfast daily (except arrival day) and 4 delicious dinners (including wine);
- Energy snacks and hydration in the support vehicle;
- Luggage transfer and SAG support;
- Cycling route maps, distances and climb profiles; and
- Ride Strong Travel Planner including information on packing, traveling with your bike, relevant reads and logistics on arrival/departure city.
Travel and Bikes
- You are responsible for travel expenses to and from the arrival and departure city. We’ll send you a travel planner to help with all of the logistics of getting there;
- You should bring your own bike and helmet for maximum comfort on our Pyrenees cycle tours. If you’d prefer to rent a quality road bike through our local supplier, contact us during the registration process as advance reservations are necessary; and
- Passports are needed for all international tours.
Reservations, Travel Insurance & Cancellations
To reserve your space on our Pyrenees cycle tours, please complete the online booking form and send a deposit of $700 USD/person.Ride Strong Bike Tours strongly recommends purchasing peace of mind travel insurance for unexpected trip cancellations or any necessary medical insurance covering you during international travel. We’ll provide you with information about insurance plans upon receipt of your completed registration form and deposit. Please also see our Terms and Cancellation Policy. Ride Strong Bike Tours reserves the right to make modifications to hotels, dates, routes or tour pending confirmation of our hotels and registrations. We will notify you of any material modifications at our earliest possible convenience. Ride Strong Bike Tours also reserves the right to cancel a tour in the unlikely event of insufficient registrations, inclement weather, wars or other matters outside of our control.
Pyrenees cycle tours trip Overview
Day 1 – Toulouse
We will rendezvous for the Pyrenees cycle tours between 1:30 and 2:30 at the Toulouse airport for the 10 minute drive into the medieval center of Toulouse. Toulouse is a lively university city bordered on either side by canals and rivers. After assembling bikes, you’re free to explore the historic center or enjoy a flat, optional afternoon ride along the Canal du Midi. We highly recommend arriving to Toulouse a day early to acclimate to the time change. If you’d like to stay in our trip hotel, please let us know so we can help with reservations. Ride Strong welcome dinner.
Day 2 – Toulouse to Bagneres-du-Luchon
Starting in the outskirts of the Pyrenean foothills we’ll have an excellent undulating warm-up into the heart of the Haut-Pyrenees. Shake out any remaining jet-lag on the Col des Ares before our featured climb of the day: the Col de Mente (Cat. 1 climb, 11km/2356 ft). From the summit, it’s virtually all downhill or flat to our hotel in the mountain spa town of Bagneres-du-Luchon where we’ll unpack for 2 nights. Group dinner tonight in Luchon. Ride: 65 km/3120ft climbing.
Day 3 – Bagneres-du-Luchon Loop Ride
Still warming-up the legs, today we will cycle down the river through the valley to the Port de Bales. Added to the Tour de France line-up for the first time in 2007, the Port de Bales (19 km with a 4,400′ vertical gain) has quickly risen to the top of everyone’s favorite climb. Perhaps it’s the deceivingly easy warm-up, the progressively narrow road or the hidden forest, the Port de Bales never disappoints in it’s beauty or bite. Enjoy a screaming descent directly back to our hotel in Bagneres-du-Luchon or continue the day with an up and back on the Col du Portillon into Spain . Free night to explore the restaurants of Luchon’s main street. Ride: 85 km/ 6,200ft.
Day 4 – Col du Peyresourde and Col d’Azet to the Louron Valley
Today’s Pyrenees cycle tours total distance is short but packed with two category climbs and spectacular descents. The Col du Peyresourde wakes up our legs today with a moderate climb (15 km long) to a stunning summit where French crepes and coffee await. Following the same route as the 2013 Tour de France, we will descend into Loudenvielle where we connect to the incredibly scenic ascent (and descent) of the Col d’Azet. From here, it’s an up and panoramic down into our Louron Valley hotel. Optional extension of the Plat d’Adet. Dinner on your own tonight. We have some excellent recommendations! Ride: 48 km, 30 miles, 5,200ft climbing.
Day 5 – Col d’Aspin and Col du Tourmalet
Today will likely be the most challenging and memorable day of the entire trip. Starting on the relatively forgiving Col d’ Aspin followed by the eastern ascent of the Col du Tourmalet (17.4 km at an average of 7.4%). Arguably the toughest Tour de France climbs in the Pyrenees, the Col du Tourmalet starts soft increasing in severity at the top. You will have earned every meter of the 40-kilometer descent on the other side all the way to our hotel near Argeles-Gazost where we’ll spend 2 nights. Group Dinner tonight at our hotel. Ride: 100 km, 6,700ft or 78 miles, 10,200′ vertical.
Day 6 – Col d’Aubisque and Solour
If the Tourmalet is the most ominous col of the Tour de France, the Col d’ Aubisque and Solour are unquestionably the most scenic on our Pyrenees cycle tours. No Pyrenees trip would be complete without the chance to ride 2 more popular cols from the Tour de France: Col du Solour (1474 m), the Col d’ Aubisque (1709 m). A narrow road clinging to a sheer mountain face link the two summits together as our legs will undoubtedly assume the rhythm of the cow bells clanking in the distance. Pure bliss awaits on the 27 km freewheeling descent back to our hotel. Group dinner tonight. Ride: 82 miles, 9,500ft.
Day 7 – Argeles-Gazost to Toulouse
Easing off the gas after yesterday’s long day in the saddle, this morning we will have a lovely climb up the Hautacam. Featured as a dramatic mountain stage finish in the 2008 and 2013 Tour de France and Etape du Tour, the Hautacam ride gains 4,000ft in under 10 miles. Congratulations! The Pyrenees cycle tours, week’s worth of climbing is finished. Enjoy the descent and flat spin into Lourdes for lunch and our short connection to Toulouse. Ride: 45 km, 4000ft vertical. Celebration dinner tonight in Toulouse.
Day 8 – Homeward Bound
After breakfast a shuttle will take you to Toulouse airport for your connections home.
Book this Tour
Registering for a Ride Strong bike tour is simple and secure. To make a booking for one of our cycling tours, please complete our online registration form. Your booking will be confirmed by email. For any questions with your registration, please contact us at email@example.com. A single registration form may be used for up to four riders paying together with one credit card and with the same mailing address.
Selected Tour: Pyrenees cycle tours – The Legendary Climbs – June / September 2017
We will have great memories of the trip for a lifetime. I was thrilled with the entire trip.Rhonda Gessow, CA. Mallorca 2015